Chapter 32. States of Control and Reducing Variation

In supporting Scrum, Beedle and Schwaber have argued that all software development is empirical and, therefore, cannot be planned with accuracy, is not repeatable, and cannot be easily classified [Schwaber 2002]. They have argued that Agile methods address this through continual assessment and feedback. The term “empirical” has been widely used amongst Agilists1 including Highsmith [2002]. It is debatable if the true meaning is accurately reflected.

1 It is considerably debated on the Scrum Development list at Yahoo! Groups.

“Empirical” means “based on observation.” For example, it was observed that the sun came up yesterday and that it came up again today. It could be further observed that ...

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